National Security

Minnesota has a proud tradition of being at the forefront of helping to defend our national security. Elements of the Minnesota National Guard led the Allied invasion forces in North Africa and Italy during World War II, they dutifully protected our northern border during the Cold War, and they have been called upon time and again in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to provide warfighting support, medical evacuation, and transportation. Sen. Smith will carry this spirit of leadership and fight for principled national security policies that prudently employ our investments in personnel, technology, and partnerships with our allies for the benefits of our nation.

The U.S. military is the best in the world. However, as the recently released National Defense Review highlighted, the number of threats to our national security is growing. Terrorism, great power competition, and nuclear proliferation will not be easy national security challenges but the way forward is clear. We must continue to invest in personnel, technology, and the partnerships that have been so successful at ensuring our security.

It is also important to recognize that our national security is best served when the military is not our only tool. We must also make effective use of diplomacy and development. Diplomacy is essential if we are going to solve tough security challenges from the Middle East to China and North Korea – without dangerous military conflict. And fostering development is not only good for the communities where it happens – it is good for the U.S. because it promotes stability and prosperity and fosters alliances.

Latest Releases

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Van Hollen, Durbin, Kaine, Schatz Amendment Requiring the Use of U.S. Supplemental Aid Comply with U.S., International Law

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) announced growing momentum around their amendment to require that the weapons received by any country under the proposed national security supplemental are used in accordance with U.S. law, international humanitarian law and the law of armed conflict. The amendment is now supported by Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), and Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.). These Senators add their support to the group of over a dozen Senators who initially cosponsored the amendment: Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.). The Senators’ amendment also requires that the president report to the Congress on whether countries receiving military equipment paid for by American taxpayers meet that test and whether the use of U.S-supplied weapons comports with established presidential directives on arms transfers and Defense Department policies for reducing harm to civilians. And it would buttress current law that prohibits U.S. security assistance to any country that prevents or restricts U.S. humanitarian assistance to those in need, subject to a presidential waiver. The amendment does not apply to funds for air defense systems or other systems that the president determines will be used for strictly defensive purposes. “I am pleased to see growing momentum behind our effort to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are used by our

U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on the Death of Minnesota Native Jimmy Hill in Ukraine

WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/17/22]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement in response to the news that Minnesota native Jimmy Hill was killed during a military strike by Russia in Ukraine: “The death of Jimmy Hill is horrible news and my thoughts are with Jimmy and his family in Minnesota. Putin’s unprovoked war in Ukraine is causing destruction and loss of life and is taking a human toll the world over.”

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Leads Bipartisan Push to Protect Minnesota Air National Guard Aircraft from Elimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. [11/12/20]—This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led a bipartisan Senate coalition advocating for a large enough C-130 aircraft fleet in Minnesota and across the country to support active duty missions as well as respond to disasters and emergencies at home. After news that the Air Force was considering reductions in the size of the C-130 fleet, last month Sen. Smith and the Minnesota Congressional delegation called on the Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett, to maintain the size of the C-130 fleet while making the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. The 133rd Airlift Wing, stationed

Minnesota Congressional Delegation Urges Air Force to Maintain the C-130 Fleet that is Critical to the Minnesota Air National Guard

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, and Representatives Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Angie Craig (MN-02), Dean Phillips (MN-03), Betty McCollum (MN-04), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Tom Emmer (MN-06), Collin Peterson (MN-07), and Pete Stauber (MN-08) sent a letter to Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara Barrett, urging the Administration to maintain the size of the C-130 fleet while making the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars.  As the 133rd Airlift Wing, stationed at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and serving the entire state including the Duluth Air National Guard Base, could be affected by the potential reductions, the delegation

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Seeks Young Minnesotans Interested In Attending a U.S. Service Academy

MINNESOTA [10/24/19]—U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s (D-Minn.) office is now accepting applications from young Minnesotans interested in attending one of the nation’s four service academies, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In order to attend a service academy, candidates must be nominated by a member of Congress, or other applicable nominating source. Applications are due by 5 pm on Friday, November 1.  “As Senator, I am proud to be able to nominate talented Minnesotans to our four U.S. Service Academies, where they can prepare to be future leaders in our nation’s military,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m happy to assist eligible Minnesotans in the nomination process,

U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Senate Democratic Colleagues Push Measure to Protect Elections from Foreign Interference

WASHINGTON, D.C. [06/20/19]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is pressing for the protection of our elections from foreign interference by pushing a measure to require candidates, campaign officials, and their family members to notify law enforcement if offered illegal assistance by a foreign national.   Sen. Smith—along with a number of her Senate colleagues—filed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to impose a legal duty on campaigns, candidates, candidates’ family members, and PACs to report offers of assistance from foreign nationals—including material, non-public information—to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the FBI. The legislation also